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No shortage of doctors: Dr Waqainabete

January 13, 2021 7:20 am

There will be no shortage of doctors following the suspension of scholarships and loans for MBBS and dentistry programs.

Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete says the time is right to divert state funding to other studies in the medical field.

He says there are more doctors in Fiji today, following six years of funding by the Tertiary Scholarship and Loans Board.

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 “We have reached a critical mass in terms of our doctors. About 4-5 years ago, there were about 400 doctors. As I speak now, there are nearly a thousand or more than a thousand doctors.”

Dr Waqainabete says with current levels of staffing, the Ministry has enough trained and qualified doctors to meet the World Health Organisation benchmark.

He does, however, want to put more focus on training the pool of doctors.

“The Ministry of Health aims to support the possibility of training doctors so we have gone really into a place where we are beginning to get the number of doctors and we want to improve the quality of doctors we have.”

Meanwhile, there are currently 790 students on TSLB scholarships and loans studying to become doctors and dentists.

They are expected to graduate and join the medical profession in four years.

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